Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Easy How-To: Understand flour's proteint content

Flour by the Big Bag
Flickr/Dan Goldring
Rural Ontario flour mill
The more protein contained in flour, the more elastic and chewy the results which is perfect when making bread dough.

The opposite is needed when baking cakes, so choose a low protein flour to produce a light, fine crumb.

Cake flour generally has 5-8 percent protein content.

Whole wheat flour contains 12-14 percent.

When the bran and germ are removed from whole wheat, it reduces the fiber, nutrients, and protein.  It is called white all-purpose, with 10-12 percent protein content.

When salt and baking powder are added to all-purpose flour at the mill or factory, it is labeled as self-rising flour with 8-11 percent protein content.  This type of flour is not used for yeast breads.

Semolina flour, made from durum wheat, however is both high in protein and less elastic.  It is used for couscous and pastas rather than for baking.

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